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Remembering Civil Rights Hero Recy Taylor

Remembering Civil Rights Hero Recy Taylor

Photo on the left via: Augusta Films, Photo on the right by: Susan Walsh/Associated Press

Do you remember the name of the courageous activist Oprah Winfrey honored while accepting the Golden Globes' Cecil B. DeMille Award on Sunday night?

It was Recy Taylor, a civil rights hero who passed away this past December, just a few days before her 98th birthday. As Winfrey described in her speech: "In 1944, Recy Taylor was a young wife and mother walking home from a church service she'd attended in Abbeville, Alabama, when she was abducted by six armed white men, raped, and left blindfolded by the side of the road coming home from church."

Despite being told by her attackers that they would kill her if she told anyone what happened, Taylor immediately reported the sexual assault to the police. Her story went on to make national headlines and Rosa Parks, a secretary of the Montgomery, Alabama NAACP chapter at the time, was the lead investigator on her case. Due to Jim Crow, Taylor's case was never tried; therefore, her attackers were never prosecuted. Nevertheless, her strength to speak her truth went on to help pave the way for civil rights and women's rights. 

In the words of Winfrey, Taylor's story, "was somewhere in Rosa Parks' heart almost 11 years later, when she made the decision to stay seated on that bus in Montgomery, and it's here with every woman who chooses to say, 'Me too.' And... every man who chooses to listen." 

Check out the trailer for Nancy Buirski's 2017 documentary about Recy Taylor below. 

Ms. Taylor, your strength, courage and bravery will remain an inspiration to us all. Rest in power.